If you’ve spent any kind of time shopping for mens running shorts, you’ve probably noticed that there are lots of different types out there. It’s a lot like shoes—all of the different styles aren’t just for looks. Each serves a purpose. The right pair of running shorts for men will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable whether you’re going for a jog around the block or you’ve got a big track and field day ahead. Read below and find out how to choose the perfect pair!
How to Choose Running Shorts
Choosing the right pair of shorts for running can make a world of difference. The wrong shorts might chafe, keep you uncomfortably damp, ride up as you run, or cause an uncomfortable wedgie. The right ones do exactly the opposite, keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable so that the shorts are the last thing you’ll be worrying about.
Because all running shorts are not made the same, you’ll need to consider several factors:
- Lined shorts versus unlined
- Different lengths
Some of these factors can be a matter of personal preference (although you may be giving up advantages if you choose based on looks alone), but with other factors—like fabric choices—there is very definitely a right and wrong answer.
Lined vs. Unlined Shorts
Check out our The Fundamental line of shorts as an example to see what we mean. This line gives you options for both lined and unlined shorts. Choosing the best running shorts for you means choosing between these two options.
Lots of guys love liners because they double as underwear, plus they offer support. The tight fit can also help prevent chafing while you run, too. While liners are an extra layer that can make these shorts a little warmer, a tight fit combined with breathable, quick-dry fabric means they wick sweat and evaporate it quickly.
On the downside, guys with larger thighs might find that either the liners are a little too tight or too constricting.
And what about length? Shorts for running typically come with three different inseam lengths:
- Short shorts, which hit high on the thigh
- Mid-length shorts that come to mid-thigh
- Long shorts that come to just above the knee
This choice usually comes down to personal preference—although shorter shorts can be a little bit cooler. Still, there are guys who don’t mind showing lots of leg, which means shorter might be better. For guys who would rather not show a lot of leg, go for mid-length to long.
These days, there is a lot of buzz about choosing natural materials for various reasons—but when it comes to the best running shorts, natural fibers can be a big turnoff. They do have the advantage of being stretchy (though many synthetic materials, like spandex, provide plenty of stretch).
On the downside? Natural fibers don’t wick sweat all that well, which makes them prone to chafing. And they wear out faster than synthetics, especially when exposed to a lot of warmth.
Synthetic materials—polyester, spandex, nylon, and others—are much better at drawing sweat away from your skin, which keeps you more comfortable overall. They’re breathable, which will keep you both cooler and drier. And they’re more durable, which means they’ll stand up to the rigors of both your workouts and your washing machine much better.
What kind of features could running shorts for men possibly have? You’d be surprised! We’ve already discussed sweat-wicking, which is a must-have feature to prevent chafing and keep you comfortable. There are also a couple of others to think about.
Pockets are essential to keep your phone handy. You might be hesitant if you’ve ever had your phone bounce out of your pocket while out on a jog—plus loose pockets keep your phone banging against your leg, which is uncomfortable at best. That’s why you should check out lined shorts with pockets built into the liner. They’ll keep your phone safe, still, and close at hand so you can keep listening to music while active.
Guys who run between sunset and sunrise should invest in reflective running shorts, especially if you run along roadsides. It’s a small thing, but it makes you much more noticeable to traffic.
Shop Fabletics to Find the Best Men’s Running Shorts
Ready to pick a favorite pair? We’ve got a great selection of the fabrics, designs, and features you need. Check out our selection for your next pair of running shorts!